To celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the release of Oasis’ 1997 album 'Be Here Now’, the band have gone back into the studio to re-master and re-release the album.
In conjunction with the re-release, Directors Dom&Nic who originally shot the promo ‘D'You know what I mean?' in 1997, approached The Mill to re-master the video in 2k resolution.
A Mill team of artists went back to the 35mm film and re-mastered the promo using today’s technology, updating it in high resolution, with remade comps and a new grade.
Oasis ‘D'You Know What I Mean' original 1997 version
Oasis ‘D'You Know What I Mean' 2016 re-masted promo
We caught up with 2D Lead Artist George Rockliffe and Colourist Dave ‘Luddy’ Ludlam to hear more about how they approached the project and what it was like to help re-create such a cult 90s classic.
Technically, how did you go about working with the original 35mm film?
George Rockliffe: “When originally released in 1997, the promo was distributed in PAL, the old standard definition format, and so we went back to the original 35mm film to re-scan the stock footage and get the 2k material from the source. The analogue medium had all of this information in it that was never seen in the original distribution.
Analogue film doesn't capture media in the same way as modern digital cameras. There isn't a finite number of pixels that the film stock is able to capture on set, and as such, the final resolution that you get out of the film is more a result of the process of scanning the original film rolls.”
Dave ‘Luddy’ Ludlam: “We sent the film to Cine Lab to be cleaned after all of those years in storage. Once we had delved through footage to find the shots, selected takes were scanned on their Spirit 2k scanner, which was actually originally our scanner here at The Mill.
In getting the promo conformed, we made sure it was scanned with the full log print density range needed for full creative control in the grade. My main focus was to get the very best out of the material so as not to in any way compromise the original footage and range that the 35mm had captured."
How did you juggle bringing the promo up to date while at the same time respecting the original footage?
George Rockliffe: “Originally when this promo was distributed, we would have only needed to release the video at 4:3 aspect ratio at Standard Definition, which was the standard format at the time. These days though, in an age of high quality, readily available media, audiences expect and are accustomed to, a much higher resolution from the media we all consume.
In order to get the most out of the re-master of this video, Dom&Nic had the video re-cut in line with the artist’s 're-imagining' of the audio track.
Once this was done, we had the original film re-scanned at 2k. For the first time, we were able to see this original video still ungraded but in a higher resolution than it ever had been before. However, these original film cans had been in storage for 20 years, so there was some restoration work that needed to be carried out on sections of the film.
We also gave the promo a fresh, up to date grade. These three technical processes of re-scan, restore and re-grade, underpinned by the quality of the footage originally shot by Dom&Nic, came together to produce the end result. This project was a great nostalgic trip back to the 90s, brought bang up to date with technology.”
Dave ‘Luddy’ Ludlam: “I remember the original very well and I personally like the look, which was at the time very contemporary, but does look soft, dark and slightly dated by today's standards. As this was a re-master of the original track, my main focus was using the material I had in front of me and that I was not compromising any of the amazing range and detail the 35mm had captured; it was all about making it look great and very real, giving the footage what it deserved.”
What were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Dave ‘Luddy’ Ludlam: “Finding all the selected shots to complete the conform was the trickiest aspect of the job. Due to how long ago the original film was shot, and, I expect it was in those hazy promo days when you graded and transferred at the same time (so not much of film counter code to tape time-code matched), in the end we dashed up to Cine Lab ourselves and eye matched 40% of the shots. With only two days left to deliver the cut and finish three effects shots it was tight but with such a great end result it was all very much worth it. I’m thrilled with the final result.
It’s been an amazing project to work on and I think that when you watch the finished piece you see how interesting and clean the material is and how well it has stood the test of time 20 years on.”
You can watch the full re-mastered promo here.